Saint Kateri Tekakwitha Conservation Center
Saint Kateri Tekakwitha Conservation Center
The Saint Kateri Tekakwitha Conservation Center, Inc. is a not-for-profit, tax-exempt charitable organization (tax identification number 46-1437406) under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Donations are tax-deductible as allowed by law.
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Pope Francis: Quotes on Ecology and the Environment (page 3)
Dignity Through Labor We must ensure that, through labor – "free, creative, participatory, and mutually- supportive labor" (cf. Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, 192) – the human being expresses and increases the dignity of their lives. I would like to focus on these four characteristics of labor. Free labor. True freedom of labor means that man, continuing the work of the Creator, helps the world rediscover its purpose: to be the work of God which incarnates and extends the image of his presence in Creation and in human history. Too often, however, labor is subject to oppression at different levels:  of one person over the other; of new slavery organizations which oppress the poor; in particular, many women and children endure an economy which forces them to work in degrading conditions that contradict the beauty and harmony of Creation. We must ensure that labor is not an instrument of alienation, but of hope and new life. Creative labor. Every man carries within himself an original and unique ability to draw, from himself and from the people with whom he works, the good which God has put in his heart. Every man and woman is a poet, capable of being creative. But this can occur only when man is permitted to express freedom and creativity in some form of enterprise or collaborative work done in community, which allows him and others a complete economic and social development. We cannot clip the wings of all, especially young people, who have so much to offer with their intelligence and ability. They must be freed from the burdens which oppress them and which prevent them from entering in their own right into the world of labor. Participatory labor. In order to leave his mark on reality, man is called upon to express his labor according to the logic imbedded in him – the relational aspect – that is, to see always the purpose of labor as the face of the other and as responsible cooperation with other persons. It is there, where, because of a purely economic vision, one thinks of a person in an egocentric key and of others as a means and not as an end.  At that point, labor loses its primary sense of the continuation of the work of God, a work destined for all humanity so that all may benefit. Mutually-supportive labor. Every day you each meet people who have lost their jobs – this makes one cry –, or are seeking employment. They take what may come. Some months ago, a lady told me that she had taken a job of 10 to 11 hours, with no contract, for 600 euros per month. And when she said: "But, nothing more?" "Ah, if you don’t like it then go away! Look at the line behind you." How many people are looking for jobs, people who want to bring home bread not only to eat, but to bring home food, that is, dignity. People want to bring home bread for their family. A proper response must be given to these people. First, it is a duty to offer one’s proximity and solidarity. + Speech to the Italian Christian Workers Associations (ACLI), May 23, 2015 Fraternity Fraternity helps to preserve and cultivate nature. The human family has received from the Creator a common gift: nature. The Christian view of creation includes a positive judgment about the legitimacy of interventions on nature if these are meant to be beneficial and are performed responsibly, that is to say, by acknowledging the “grammar” inscribed in nature and by wisely using resources for the benefit of all, with respect for the beauty, finality and usefulness of every living being and its place in the ecosystem. Nature, in a word, is at our disposition and we are called to exercise a responsible stewardship over it. Yet so often we are driven by greed and by the arrogance of dominion, possession, manipulation and exploitation; we do not preserve nature; nor do we respect it or consider it a gracious gift which we must care for and set at the service of our brothers and sisters, including future generations. + Message for the Celebration of the World Day of Peace 2014, January 1, 2014 © Copyright 2014 Libreria Editrice Vaticana
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